Moyale is one of the 47 woredas in the Somali Region of Ethiopia. Located at the extreme southwest corner of the Liben Zone, Moyale is bounded on the south by Kenya, on the west by the Oromia Region, and on the north and east by the Dawa, which separates Moyale from Liben and Dolo Odo. The southernmost point of this woreda is the southernmost point of Ethiopia. Towns in this woreda include Chelago.
The elevations of this woreda range from about 500 meters along the Dawa to 1500 meters above sea level. According to the woreda administrator in 1994, Ibrahim Abdi, the ecological classification of the woreda is 10% mid-highland and 90% lowland. The total farming area in Moyale is 6,649 hectares, and the average land holding capacity is 2 hectares. The major crops planted are maize, teff and haricot beans. The farm lands are suitable for sorghum, but it had not been planted as of the end of 1993.
Moyale is located at the frontier between the traditional territories of the Somali and Oromo peoples living in the southwestern part of Ethiopia. Accordingly, local groups of both Somali and Oromo nationalities have a vested interest in the control of the relatively rich pastoral resources in the district and therefore have been in conflict over its control. During the mid-1990s there were a number of neutral missions launched by the central government to mediate this conflict. One attempt to resolve the dispute between the two Regions was the October, 2004 referendum held in about 420 kebeles in 12 woredas across five zones of the Somali Region. According to the official results of the referendum, about 80% of the disputed areas have fallen under Oromia administration, though there were numerous allegations of voting irregularities in many of them.
Based on figures published by the Central Statistical Agency in 2005, this woreda has an estimated total population of 275,620, of whom 127,867 are men and 147,753 are women. Information is not available for the area of Moyale, so its population density cannot be calculated. The majority of the inhabitants of this woreda belong to the Garre clan of the Somali people, although a sizable minority belong to the Gabbra, a small nomadic group with cultural similarities to the Borena Oromo.
The 1997 national census reported a total population for this woreda of 226,004, of whom 123,641 were men and 102,363 were women; none of its inhabitants were urban inhabitants. The largest ethnic group reported in Moyale was the Somali 225,946 (99.9%).
A sample enumeration performed by the CSA in 2001 interviewed 8,567 farmers in this woreda, who held an average of 0.89 hectares of land. Of the 7,618 hectares of private land surveyed, 11.85% was under cultivation, 39.52% was pasture, 46.65% fallow, and 1.96% was devoted to other uses; the area in woodland is missing. For the land surveyed in this woreda, 7.72% is planted in cereals like maize, and 4.06% in pulses; no area was reported to be planted in root crops or vegetables. Permanent crops included 2.89 hectares planted in fruit trees. 39.73% of the farmers both raise crops and livestock, while 6.05% only grow crops and 54.22% only raise livestock. Land tenure in this woreda was distributed amongst 83.55% owning their land, 0.75 renting, and the remaining 15.7% holding their land under other forms of tenure.
- Moyale, Dollo, Negele and Ginner Situation Report (December 6-19, 1993) UNDP Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia report, January 1994 (accessed 24 December 2008)
- Socio-economic conditions of the population in Liben zone, Ethiopian Somali National Regional State UNDP Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia report, February 1996 (accessed 10 January 2009)
- "Somali-Oromo border referendum of December 2004", Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre website (accessed 11 February 2009)
- CSA 2005 National Statistics, Table B.3. Rural population numbers are believed to be underreported for this Region.
- Socio-economic conditions of the population in Liben zone, Ethiopian Somali National Regional State UNDP Emergencies Unit for Ethiopia report, January 1994 (accessed 26 December 2008)
- The 1994 Population and Housing Census of Ethiopia: Results for Somali Region, vol.1, Tables 2.3 and 2.13. The 1994 Ethiopian National Census was delayed in the Somali Region until September 1997.
- "Central Statistical Authority of Ethiopia. Agricultural Sample Survey (AgSE2001). Report on Area and Production - Somali Region. Version 1.1 - December 2007" (accessed 26 January 2009)
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